As the MLB Draft creeps closer, it’s time to take a deep dive into these prospects. Next up, a look at Thomas Harrington, an offspeed whiz from Campbell University. Harrington is two-sport star out of Southern Lee High School in North Carolina who committed to Campbell to fulfill his dreams as a pitcher. While playing quarterback was his natural forte, Harrington’s true specialty was tossing off the mound. After two productive seasons as a Fighting Camel, the 20-year-old declared for the MLB Draft.
Thomas Harrington, RHP, Campbell University
Weight: 185 lbs.
2021 Stats: 16 G, 14 GS, 75.2 IP, 6-3, 3.45 ERA, 1.229 WHIP, 28 BB, 75 SO
2022 Stats: 15 G, 15 GS, 92.2 IP, 12-2, 2.53 ERA, 0.939, 18 BB, 111 SO
. @GoCamelsBSB Thomas Harrington is trending in the right direction 📈
He's viewed as a top-three round talent … for now 😈https://t.co/XxkeMcPHsv pic.twitter.com/QjCFL0AXFI
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) March 3, 2022
Campbell has not developed a whole lot of major league players. Cedric Mullins and Ryan Thompson are the only current players to graduate from the University, though Harrington is looking to join the select few Fighting Camels in just a few years. The Sanford native was a major component of the rotation dating back to his freshman season. He was named Big South Freshman of the Year as well as Second-Team All-Big South. In his sophomore season in 2022, Harrington received the title of Big South Pitcher of the Year.
The pitching prospects are the crème de la crème in the draft, and Harrington is only a testament to that notion. His snappy delivery and strike-throwing mentality are his claims to fame, and his walk rate has vastly improved over just one season. He allowed 28 walks in 2021 compared to just 18 during his sophomore season. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s and he operates the velocity based on the count. The changeup is his dynamite pitch which has a flashy backspin sitting in the mid-80s. He also incorporates a slider and curveball which is an upside to his four-slot arsenal.
The right-hander doesn’t allow many home runs and commands the zone well, allowing just seven combined long bombs in his two-year stint at Campbell. His numbers are outstanding and Harrington has evolved into a major threat on the mound. Although the position players seem to be the focus for the first round, Harrington is likely to go in the second.
There aren’t too many flaws that seem to damage Harrington’s draft stock. However, his low 90s fastball needs to speed up and will not be sufficient to blow by major league hitters. The modern-era fastball sits in the high-90s and the 20-year-old could use some improvement. Additionally, although his upper-70s curveball is a plus, it needs to be more consistent.
Pro Comparison: Luis Castillo
Castillo’s changeup is among the best offspeed pitches in the league. He is throwing it at a 28.7 rate in 2022 and the former Fighting Camel could be the next shadow of Castillo. While the veteran may have a bit more kick to his fastball, Harrington is likely to augment that velocity when his game matures. Their 6’2″ builds are fairly alike and the comparison between the two right-handers is nothing to dismiss.
Draft Projection: Early Second Round
The second round is quite unpredictable and it’s hard to tell when Harrington will hear his name called. Although, many teams are considering the youngster and an early second-round pick is nothing to be disappointed by. Nonetheless, the pitching department is loaded in this year’s draft, and the 20-year-old stud will be gone before you know it.
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Main Image Credit: via Campbell University Fighting Camels